Insubordinate little devils, um I mean Clauses

clipart-santa18-santa-claus-clip-art-best-clip-art-blog-p4sfcuo0As much as I would love this to be a awesome short story about rebel Santas (insubordinate clauses, get it? Oh forget it.), we’ re actually diving into that dense and unforgivable jungle that is Grammarland.

Today’s Topic: Subordinate Clauses

Why?: I couldn’t pass up the joke about insubordinate clauses 🙂

Ok, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started.  A clause, as we remember, is the smallest chunk of text that can stand on it’s own and still make sense.  I ran. He sat. She ate waffles.

A subordinate clause doesn’t make sense all by itself, it needs more information.  All by itself it is no more than a sentence fragment.  Once you go to the movie. Whenever there is rain.

Forget it. I’m not qualified to even start this topic let alone teach about it.

Here, read this instead.  This made sense to even me, who admittedly didn’t do all that well in English class (shocker, I know!).

Why is it important to know this stuff?

While most grammar topics seem to be actually useful in the long run, this is one that doesn’t seem that helpful.  That is, until you start line editing and wondering where exactly the comma is supposed to go, or find that you need to alter your sentence structure but can’t figure out a good way to change things up.  Then, knowing the nitty-gritty finer points of grammar can really pay off.

If you are still working that first draft, don’t sweat about all of the technical details, such as grammar, yet.  You should focus on making your story, characters, and setting as awesome as possible.  When you finish with all that and are past the point of having to make massive changes to key concepts, then you can tackle the technical stuff.

About Jodi

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, mandala enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published in November 2018 and rereleased in Jan 2020. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.
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7 Responses to Insubordinate little devils, um I mean Clauses

  1. Thanks for this…great info. I was another one who staggered through English. In high school when they allowed me to write that all changed. I’m also excited to know what I’m supposed to do when I go to the movie, but then, that’s the point. 🙂

  2. Luanne says:

    This is hilarious. They definitely are little devils.

  3. Very helpful. I printed this advice.

  4. Very timely as I’m in the middle of a rewrite. Thanks for the link. I feel like an expert now.

  5. diannegray says:

    I think i daydreamed my way through English – I really struggle with things like this now. Advice like this is gold to me! 😀

  6. librarylady says:

    You’re right, this is very helpful. I don’t really know the rules of grammer, just kind of play by ear or write what sounds right. It’s good to revies the ground rules once in awhile.
    I was a little dissapointed though – I really wanted to know what happened after Amy sneezed all over the tuna salad. They kind of left us hanging there.

    • Jodi says:

      I’ll admit I generally do the same, it has to sound right. That’s why it’s so important to be a voracious reader, it makes it easier to have a good feel for what works.

      As for the tuna salad, I’m thinking that that will be a story for another day!

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